14 Jan '19 in Holiday Guides
8 Point Checklist for the Ultimate Group Ski Holiday
Group ski holidays. A lot of fun when you get to your resort, find your hotel or catered chalet, have got your equipment, hit the slopes…and likewise the bars. You’ll be having fun and making memories all over the place.
But booking a group ski holiday, making sure everyone is getting what they want, that all tastes are catered for and all budgets appeased? Not so much fun, and quite the responsibility.
Here’s your eight point checklist to make booking and preparing for your group ski holiday a whole lot easier – and to make sure your whole group has the Ultimate Ski Holiday.
1. Plan in advance – probably further in advance than you think you have to. This has two advantages; you can benefit from early booking offers, and you’re leaving yourself plenty of time to accommodate the people who just can’t make up their mind whether they’re coming or not (there’s one in every group).
2. Get a complete list of who’s going. (See above.) Without at least a good idea of numbers, you haven’t really got anywhere to start your research into flights, accommodation, or even the resort to go to.
3. Set your dates. This can get complicated, so one idea is to ask for all the dates everyone your group is available and choose the two that most people can do. After you’ve narrowed it down, ask your group to choose which one of the two works best for them. (We think it’s best not to give them too many options or you’ll never settle on one!) SIDE TIP: set up a WhatsApp chat for everyone in the group so you can all participate and have the latest information – it’s way better than contacting everyone separately.
4. What are the different needs of your group? In a caveat to our side tip, talking about budgets can be a sensitive subject and is probably one to ask each group member about privately. Don’t skip this step though – if you find an ideal chalet in an ideal location that meets all your needs and then some people can’t afford it, your work is wasted. You’ll also need to find out what country, resort and type of accommodation people would prefer, as well as their ski or snowboard level and dietary requirements. It’s also good to ask what is absolutely necessary for the group, and what they could live without. Then go with the majority.
5. What type of resort should you go to? Well, that all depends on your group’s tastes. If you have a large group with diverse tastes, a large resort is probably better – and will likely offer a good range of skiing to suit all abilities. If you like to party, you’ll probably want to check out Austria first – the après is legendary. But there are plenty of options if your group prefers a cosy night in front of an open fire, or drinking champagne in a hot tub.
6. What’s your preferred type of accommodation? For privacy, you can’t beat a sole-occupancy chalet where you’ll have the full run of the house – no one else to hog the fire or the best table by the window or care if you fall asleep on the sofa. It does mean you’ll have to be sure of group numbers though, as you’ll be charged for the chalet as a whole. If you can’t fill it, you’ll still pay the full price. Catered chalets, whether sole-occupancy or not, can really help with your budgeting and planning as most (and mostly delicious) food is included – and sometimes even alcohol.
7. This is probably the least exciting and most important point rolled into one – you’ll need your group’s travel details; their name on their passport and date of birth, as well as dietary requirements and extras such as lift pass, ski hire and lessons they want to book. You aren’t their parent though – they should all be responsible for knowing all the travel details.
8. Getting payment. Yikes. Yes, everyone has committed and is looking forward to it…but somehow there’s always someone who doesn’t pay on time. Make sure you give everyone the dates they need to pay by and bring it forward a week to accommodate any stragglers.
And a final tip – if you’re part of a group but not the person booking the holiday, be nice to them! It can be hard work trying to cater for everyone, especially if you’re in a particularly large group.